brand experience brief: wendys in dublin ohio
Wendy’s celebrates its heritage through a unique customer experience at this, the site of the original Wendy’s restaurant. Check out a video audit and analysis of the brand experience.
other brand experience briefs:
- Carl’s Jr. sports-themed restaurant
- Nike and New Balance
- Patagonia’s Tin Shed
- Steak n’ Shake Signature
Today we’re looking at the Wendy’s in Dublin, Ohio, to see how the brand celebrates its heritage through a unique customer experience. This is the site of the very first Wendy’s restaurant so it’s 45 years old but the experience is new and modern.
The restaurant exterior is really different from what most Wendy’s look like, and according to company statements it embodies the new restaurant design that will eventually be phased in across the system. The upgrade includes digital menu boards and lighted overhang at the drive-thru speaker box.
Inside, the fixtures are new and contemporary and flourishes like grass frosted glass, cute banquettes, and bar height two-tops give a fresh, natural feel. Digital menuboards, digital TVs, and a modern encased fireplace combine to make the environment contemporary yet comfortable.
The unit is right down the street from the company’s headquarters so of course the employees were very friendly and helpful and the store was immaculate, but I can see how the new design would give any location a fresh look.
Like each new store, there’s a strong brand message right in the vestibule – welcome to real, welcome to fresh, and welcome to in this case Dublin. Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas has a big presence here. On the way in, you’re greeted by a bronze statue, and inside, there is a big wall display featuring his image and story.
The main draw of the store is the Wendy’s memorabilia displayed in a special historical section of the restaurant. The room features glass murals filled with photos, trinkets, old packaging and signs from Wendy’s past, special fixtures like a table and chairs from the original restaurant, and timelines with lots of images designating key milestones like when salads were added to the menu.
All in all, the restaurant is a terrific experience of the Wendy’s brand, presenting the nostalgia and old-fashioned values of the brand’s heritage in a highly modern context. I’ve audited other stores that combine the classic and contemporary including New Balance, Steak n Shake, and Patagonia – be sure to check them out at http://deniseleeyohn.com/videos/brand-experience-briefs/.